When it comes to the age of your physician, older isn’t always better. Research shows a consistent positive correlation between lack of experience and better quality of care. Additionally younger doctors are more likely to adopt innovative practices and are more likely to discuss important issues, such as end of life issues, with patients.

For Doctors, Age May Be More Than a Number


When I went on Terry Gross’s radio show last year, the very first question she asked me was one I get asked during my work as a doctor all the time:

“Can I ask how old you are?”


“So when family members or loved ones see you,” she went on, “do they ever look at you and go, ‘You’re so young, how can I trust you?’”

In many professions, a premium is placed on experience, with age often a surrogate for expertise — but probably no profession places more primacy on age than medicine. Nothing is more reassuring to patients than seeing a silver-haired doctor walk up to their bedside. To this day, medicine is largely an apprenticeship, with young physicians huddling around older physicians, straining to catch every word, so as to not lose a nugget of wisdom. Experience is even written into our dress codes: Students in many medical schools cannot wear long white coats, unlike their seniors; in some, even medical residents can’t have coats that extend much below the waist. [read entire article]